September 4, 2017

The newest arrow in my eLearning quiver is Hyperdocs. It started a few weeks ago when one of our teachers came to me to ask for help with digital worksheets. She pdf’ed one of her existing worksheets and posted it on Classroom, and it was a complete flop. So she wanted to know what she did wrong. 

I asked her if she would mind giving me the worksheet and a few weeks to do some research. Then I will redesign it for her in a way that I think would be more efficient. 

Let’s start with what went wrong:
She converted a paper worksheet to a digital worksheet making some adaptations, like googling for pictures but she gave little thought to how she wanted the learners to complete the worksheet. Some printed the pictures, others saved it on their devices, while others printed it and stuck it in their workbook and other ‘found’ pictures but didn’t think to save them somewhere. 

This became my first attempt at a hyperdoc or a purposefully designed digital worksheet.

The first question I asked myself was, where and how do I want the learners to answer this? Keeping in mind that I want them to have concise and clear notes that they can study from later. 

One option was to do it in their exercise book like they used to when it was a paper worksheet. But I want them to move away from printing pictures.
So I decided to design the worksheet in such a way that they could answer it on the worksheet. 
Initially, I was thinking a slideshow with each question at the top of the slide and their answers below. But as soon as I started to play around I wanted to do better. In the Hyperdocs Handbook, they describe a slideshow not as a presenting tool, but rather as a stack of cards with notes on. Once I started to think about it that way it was easier to design the worksheet. I tried to stick to the questions that were on the original worksheet, OK I couldn’t help myself I added a few items to make it more fun. The biggest change was that the answer now went with the question, whether the answer is typed text or a picture. 

Once I got to the end of the worksheet, I was still not satisfied. Even thought the workflow was much improved and learners got a chance to apply their knowledge, they still did not create anything. 

That’s when it hit me, why not design your own room by using the principles that you just learned. A quick search later I had found a few websites that allow you to create a room and voila I had my final activity. 
I could have left it to the students to find their own design websites, but that inevitably leads to a waste of time. One of the biggest complaints that I get from teachers is that when they learners use the internet, they get lost in the vastness of it. It takes them hours to find a decent website and by that time the lesson is over. Hyperdocs is a way to deal with that problem. Instead of the learners spending hours searching for an appropriate website/tool, you can direct them to a good site that you have already tested. 

I will be the first to admit that my hyperdoc is still very basic. I am already playing with ideas of doing a version 2.0 where the whole activity is designed around creating your own room/house. But before I do that I need to practice my hyperdoc skills a bit. 

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